Thursday, December 9, 2010

Old Fashioned Mini Fruitcakes

Even if you think you don't like fruitcake, I'll bet you'll love this heirloom recipe. It can be made into mini loaves as pictured, bar or drop cookies or even as a bundt cake!
Even if you think you don't like fruitcake, I'll bet you'll love this heirloom recipe. It can be made into mini loaves as pictured, bar or drop cookies or even as a bundt cake!

Old Fashioned Mini Fruitcakes

This None Such Old Fashioned Fruitcake recipe dates back to at least the 1960s, and maybe even before that, since None Such Brand has actually been around since 1885. This was based on an old label recipe from the None Such Mincemeat product, and it's the recipe that my mother in law still uses year after year when she bakes up her holiday fruitcakes. Let me tell you - it is delicious! Like most of the older lost recipes, this recipe has evolved over the years, so I've included both my mother in law's revised version, the original None Such Fruitcake recipe, and some additional variations - including fruitcake bars, drop cookies and a bundt cake!

If you are unfamiliar with mincemeat, don't be scared - while back in the day, homemade mincemeat had a lot of meat in it, these days store-bought mincemeat has only the tiniest bit of negligible beef in it, so that if you didn't look at the label, you would never know it. As a mincemeat product today, we are primarily talking about a group of spices, typically cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and mace, that are usually mixed with some kind of dried fruit. For the None Such brand, that is a bit of citrus peel, along with raisins and apples.

The None Such brand is getting harder to find at grocery stores, but we have it at our local Walmart, mostly seasonally. As far as adaptations, the original None Such Fruitcake recipe calls for 2-1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, but my mother in law prefers to use self rising flour. The original recipe also calls for one pound of mixed candied fruit, but she likes using just the red and green candied cherries alone. I also noticed that the None Such brand mincemeat used to be sold in a 28-ounce jar, but like a lot of other products on our store shelves, the size has shrunk now to 27 ounces. The recipe doesn't seem to have suffered for it thankfully. You can find other mincemeat recipes at the Eagle product None Such site.

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Recipe: Mama's None Such Mini Fruitcakes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 50 min | Yield: 5 mini loaves

  • 2-1/2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or nuts of your choice
  • 2 cups (1 pound) candied cherries, or mixed candied fruit of your choice (reserve some for garnish if desired)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 (27-ounce) jar of None Such Brand Ready-to-Use Mincemeat (Classic Original or Brandy and Rum)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • Reserved candied fruit, for garnish, optional
  • Pecan halves, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray 5 mini loaf pans with non-stick Baker's Joy spray; set aside In a large bowl, mix together the flour, nuts and candied fruit. Mix together the eggs, mincemeat, sweetened condensed milk; add to the flour. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 300 degrees F for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center, comes out clean. Let cool. Garnish with additional sliced candied fruit and/or pecan halves.

Makes 5 mini loaves

Note: To substitute condensed mincemeat for ready-to-use mincemeat, crumble 2 (9-ounce) packages None Such Condensed Mincemeat into small saucepan; add 1-1/2 cups water. Boil briskly 1 minute. Cool. Proceed as recipe directs.

Variations (all are baked at 300 degrees F):

Bundt Fruitcake: Generously butter and flour a 10-inch bundt pan; turn batter into pan. Bake for 1 hour and 45 to 50 minutes.

Fruitcake Bars: Butter a 15x10-inch jellyroll pan; spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 40 top 45 minutes. Cool. Glaze if desired. Makes about 4 dozen bars.

Fruitcake-in-a-Can: Butter three 1-pound coffee cans; fill each can with about 2-2/3 cups batter. Bake 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes. Can also butter eight (10 3/4-ounce) soup cans; fill each with 1 cup batter. Bake 50 to 55 minutes.

Chocolate Fruitcake: Prepare fruitcake batter as above, adding 3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted. For glaze, melt 3 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons margarine or butter. Spoon over fruitcake.

Fruitcake Cookies: Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto buttered baking sheets or parchment paper. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Makes about 5-1/2 dozen cookies.


Original 1960 None Such Fruitcake Recipe
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

  • 2-1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 (27-ounce) jar of None Such Brand Ready-to-Use Mincemeat (Classic Original or Brandy and Rum)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 cups (1 pound) mixed candied fruit
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine flour and baking soda; set aside. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; blend in dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 45 to 50 minutes, or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Turn out of pan. Garnish as desired.


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©Deep South Dish
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